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In a continuous effort to grow its mobile money transfer service facility Western Union Co. (WU - Analyst Report) has entered into an agreement with Nigeria-based eTranzact International plc. 
 
eTranzact is a company that offers payment solution platforms and easy payment channels to its numerous customers.
 
Per the agreement customers in Nigeria who use eTranzact service will be able to receive funds via Western Union Money Transfer service on their mobile handsets. Customers will get the facility of getting funds remitted on their mobile phones, from westernunion.com transactional websites in 23 countries, or Western Union Agent locations around the world.   
 
The customers can also use the remitted funds to pay utility and cable television bills, make merchant payments, top-up their mobile phone credits and/or make third party transfers.  All these transaction will be routed via PocketMoni, the eTranzact Mobile Money platform.
 
Western Union has specifically chosen eTranzact since it is Nigeria's first award winning multi-application and multi-channel electronic transaction switching and payment processing platform. eTranzact has operations in Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Cote d'Ivoire, and UK and is currently expanding operations to more and more countries in the world.
 
Both the companies together will be able to provide secured, convenient and cost effective means to their customers to make and receive payments. 
 
Currently Western Union has 19 active partners globally for mobile money transfer. Its mobile money transfer service is available in 17 countries. Western Union’s mobile money transfer service provides consumers in these countries with the ability to transfer money to a mobile wallet or bank account. Consumers can also initiate transactions from their mobile phones and send money from mobile wallets or bank accounts.
 
During March of this year, the company added two mobile applications for its customers. One of the applications would assist billers in financial services, mortgage, insurance, cable, telecommunications and other industries. Another application is meant for billers in the utility industry.
 
The customers can use these mobile applications, while making transaction via its Speedpay service. 
 
Western Union is intent to grow its mobile payment channel of business (SMS, and mobile web, as well as walk-in, phone and online payment services), since it foresees tremendous growth in this line of money transfer service. The company’s Money Mindset Index, shows that online payments will increase by 39% in 2013 while mobile is expected to increase by 12%. 
 
Western Union is aggressively embracing the use of new age technology for providing flawless service to its customers. Mobile payments are gaining momentum due to convenience and round-the-clock accessibility. This service is expected to witness faster adoption rate than any other electronic channel.
 
The company has already in operation its mobile money transfer service in many of the regions of the world such as Afghanistan, Bangladesh, El Salvador, Guatemala, Indonesia, Kenya, Madagascar, Malaysia, Paraguay, the Philippines, Tanzania, Uganda, Vietnam and the U.S.
 
Western Union currently retains a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).
 
Other players providing mobile money transfer facility are Visa Inc. (V - Analyst Report), Fiserv, Inc. (FISV - Analyst Report), and Moneygram International Inc. (MGI - Analyst Report) among others. 

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